From the moment we arrived at Secrets we were in awe... this place was absolutley breathtaking! We were greeted by friendly staff with champaign and cool cloths and then escorted to the open air lobby. Check in was pleasant however they do ask you to sit through their vacation club presentation... I was not happy about this but we agreed to do it and I'm glad we did because they gave us $300 to use towards our excursions. We had paid for a garden view room with partial ocean view and were pleasantly suprised when they "upgraded" us to the 8th floor and full ocean view.
The room: WAS AMAZING! I honestly don't think there is a room with a bad view here... not even the side towers. Loved the huge king sized bed and garden tub in the room. Fully stocked mini fridge, huge 2 head walk in shower and large armoire for hanging all your clothes (plus huge dresser). We had the balcony doors open 24/7 and enjoyed the warm ocean breeze as much as we could. We never had a problem with bugs either.
The pools: so many to choose from! When you pay for the Secrets side, you can use any of the facilites in the resort, including on the Now Amber (family) side. We really only swam in the heated pool that has the swim up bar in it. It was the perfect temp and the swim up bar was awesome. The bartenders can make you anything, but you better know what you want or they'll just start giving you random stuff - which is fun too! The waitstaff on the beach and around the pool are great too. Omar took very good care of us and was always happy to get us whatever we needed. The phrase that pays here is always "it's my pleasure"
The beach: Not the softest sand ever, but very clean and lot's of it! Right in the middle of the beach there was a cool area that a ton of rocks had washed up over time. Everyday you'd see people down there picking out rocks to take home.
Entertainment: They have a whole team of people to entertain you. They were really good at going around and asking everyone to participate. Everyday there are tons of things going on from yoga in the morning, to beach volleyball, shooting range, tennis, guacamole making lessons etc. Then at night they play outdoor movies or have huge dinners on the beach with entertainment. They also have a club in the resort. We went to it one night and it was ok... music wasn't the best. They advertised a "rock night" that might have been good but we didn't make it.
The restaurants: SO good! We almost didn't make it to all of them! Every morning we went to the Now side and had their breakfast buffet. It was much bigger then the one on the Secrets side and had much more to choose from. I highly recommend the fried banannas, french toast and scrambled eggs. You can make bloody mary's and mimosa's till your hearts content too!
Our favorite restaurant was the Mexican place - Tamarindo. We both had skirt steak that was absolutley perfect! Service was excellant and the decor was fun and festive.
Himitsu - the pan asian place was great too. We ate here on our first night. We weren't sure what to expect, but it was awesome inside. Sunken tables and great service just added to the already great food. You could also reserve a hibachi table here. We weren't fans of the the rolls that had cream cheese though, they were just too much. the spicy tuna roll was yummy!
The french place, Bordeaux was ok... not the best service that night. The food was just ok and the decor was blahhh.
Italian night (last supper) at Capri was so very good! Our server was fantastic and so was the food. We splurged and got 2 appitizers, 3 entree's and 3 deserts. Ha! Our server even brought our deserts on a platter that said "Happy Honeymoon".
Oceana - basically on the beach, gorgeous views. Loved the shrimp taco's and the lemon pie! Service was just ok both times we ate here.
Barefoot Grill (pool buffet) - great BBQ ribs and make your own burgers (didn't like the pizza at all) Awesome guacamole too!
Room service we used probably 5 times - it was fast and really good - and they'll totally bring you a six pack of beer with your food too!
Over all the food was fantastic and you can order as much or as little as you want. We had a blast eating different things than normal and we never once got sick from the water! They filter their water but they have bottles everywhere too.
Housekeeping was great! Tomasa kept our room as tidy as she could. We got a little lazy after the first 3 days or so. She did a great job!
Some small complaints... Obviously it was our choice to sleep with the balcony doors open every night, but everyday around 4:00 am and 5:30 am we'd get woken up by either cleaning crews pressure washing something outside or silverware being rolled 8 floors down at the breakfast place. whatever, we went right back to sleep but still kind of annoying.
Entertainment: the first 4 days we were there (including a weekend) there was NO music at the pool?! A few guests had brought down their own ipods and speakers and played music for everyone. lame... then, when they did have music, around 3:00 in the afternoon, he played the same 3 songs over and over (2 of which included J-LO songs???) The music was horrible - and I love all kinds of music so I'm not picky. At one point, some guy tipped the DJ $20 to play all 80's and 90's and then we at least got away from j-lo!
The pool: it closes at 8 but the bar closes at 5... everyday, it was just when people started letting loose and having fun that the bar would close and the music would stop - Then there really wasn't a place for people to move too... it was like there was a 2 hour or so span between the pool bar closing and places opening for dinner that there was no place to go - except the lobby bar; which wasn't a fun hangout for people in their bikinis and trunks... wish there was another bar outside for those people.
Some tips: the resort has taxis (white cars sitting at entrance) that you can use, you just have to ask a bell hop. It saves you from walking down to the main street, and they're generally nicer cars and not as crazy as drivers - costs the same too.
-the bus is safe, cheap and easy
-Vallarta adventures was a really good tour company, We did the snorkeling at Marietta Islands, Outdoor tour, and Rhythms of the night. Felt very safe on all.
If you don't mind sleeping on the family side (the rooms are the same) you can still use the secrets side as long as you don't have kids and you'll save at least a couple hundred dollars. Wish we would have know that before we booked!
Overall, we absolutely LOVED this place and would recommend it to anyone looking for a luxurious all-inclusive resort in PV!